The way that healthcare is provided has changed significantly in recent months, and it may not completely return to normal for some time. In light of the current state of the world, we thought it would be beneficial to our patients if we share some tips on how to care for the spine when a face-to-face consultation is not possible.
Whether you must wait a week or two or a month or two to see a spinal specialist for back pain and other symptoms, your body’s needs do not go away. Here are some things you can do until you can see a doctor in person:
- Schedule a virtual visit. Telephone appointments and video conferencing are two ways in which doctors are staying connected with their patients these days. Some predict that telemedicine will become the standard practice in the future, which can be helpful in some situations. This does not have to degrade the overall experience nor stand in the way of a proper diagnosis. Doctors can order imaging and other tests as needed based on the details discussed by phone or video.
- Stay active. Pain has a way of making us want to take it easy. This can be especially true of spinal pain. However, it is necessary to maintain a healthy and appropriate level of physical activity. If you have been diagnosed with a spinal condition, such as degenerative disc disease, you might find online videos of physical therapy exercises with demonstration and instructions. These videos can help you move in ways that promote flexibility and circulation to damaged tissues, and may help reduce the progression of injury until you can see a spine specialist.
- Change up your routine. Whether back or neck pain comes on suddenly or gets worse over time, there is a good chance that some of your normal activities have caused or are exacerbating an injury. Knowing that certain activities may be at least partly to blame for pain, you can make necessary changes. For example, if you work on a laptop all day long and experience neck pain, you might modify your workspace to support proper sitting posture.